A local man initially stopped for speeding Tuesday night was soon facing a felony fleeing charge after he allegedly sped away from the traffic stop after getting his ticket and initially refused to stop again.
Zachary Ray Wood, 21, who lists a Thornton Ferry Road address, was taken into custody shortly before 9:30 p.m. and charged with a felony count of fleeing in a vehicle, punishable by up to six years in prison, and misdemeanor counts of criminal use of a prohibited weapon, because he was allegedly in possession of metal knuckles, and reckless driving.
Wood, who lists no prior criminal history, was later released on a $4,000 bond and is set to appear March 4 in Garland County District Court. He also received a citation for speeding over 15 mph over the limit from the initial stop and is set to appear Feb. 23 in district court on that charge.
According to the probable cause affidavit, around 9:15 p.m., Garland County sheriff's Deputy Michael Wagner made a traffic stop on a red GMC Sierra in the 3100 block of Albert Pike Road for allegedly speeding and issued the driver, identified as Wood, a citation for the offense.
Wagner notes he began walking back to his patrol unit when Wood allegedly "suddenly sped away from me, spinning and squealing his tires on the pavement." Wagner got back in his unit and attempted to make a second traffic stop on Wood.
Wood reportedly turned onto Thornton Ferry Road "traveling at a high rate of speed" as Wagner activated his lights and siren and "began to slowly catch up to him." He noted Wood was traveling at speeds in excess of 70 mph on Thornton Ferry where the posted speed limit is 35 mph.
Wood allegedly continued to flee and refused to stop until they reached approximately the 1200 block of Thornton Ferry where he suddenly stopped his vehicle "in the middle of the road." Wood's listed address is in the 1400 block of Thornton Ferry. He was ordered out of the car and "ultimately taken into custody."
While doing an inventory search of the vehicle, a pair of orange metal knuckles were allegedly located in the driver's side door, resulting in the additional charge. Under Arkansas law, "the use, possession, manufacturing, repair, sale, or any other dealing" with metal knuckles is illegal and is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.